The weekend storm that dumped over a foot of rain in a record breaking two day span has caused rescue workers to frantically search for more stranded victims before it is too late. The floods have already claimed 28 lives in Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky along with tornadoes that ripped through the area.
The flash flooding in the area caught many of the victims off guard and resulted in stranded homeowners and visitors to the area. Power outages in the area further hampered efforts to warn flood victims to stay off the dangerous roads. As the waters started to retreat, bodies were discovered in homes and outside in areas that were submerged a short time before. Tennessee alone was the location for 17 of the 28 victims.
Rescue workers fought through the flood waters and rescued hundreds of stranded victims. Boats and canoes were used to reach the victims and ferry them to dry, safe land. While most of the rescue work is completed, there are still isolated incidents of damaged homes and even one home that was floating in the street in Nashville as late as Tuesday. There is still no tally on the number of people that are missing since the floods.
The flood damage extended into the tourist attractions in the city of Nashville, with the Grand Ole Opry suffering from devastating flooding. Guests staying at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel were taken to a shelter after the floods. There is an estimated $75 million in damages at the hotel. It is expected to remain closed for three to six months.
The lost revenue from these tourist attractions is still not realized completely. This is an economic blow to Tennessee in a time when the economy is has already been difficult. The loss of tourist revenue as well as the damage to the historic buildings in the area may cause financial difficulties that will last for years.
The governor declared fifty two of the ninety four counties in Tennessee disaster areas. The waters in the region remain high and it is still a dangerous situation for residents of the area. As rescue workers struggle to search remaining homes and businesses as the water recedes, it is expected that more bodies will be found in some of the more remote areas of Kentucky and Tennessee. Workers are struggling to restore power to the flood soaked region.